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Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George

 

SC19701 - Valliere v. Commissioner of Social Services ("In this appeal, we consider the relationship between General Statutes § 45a-655 (b) and (d) in determining whether a spousal support order previously rendered by the Probate Court is binding on the defendant, the Commissioner of Social Services (commissioner), when calculating the allowance that may be diverted to the support of the community spouse of a Medicaid eligible institutionalized person pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-5, a provision originally enacted as part of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 (catastrophic coverage act), Pub. L. No. 100-360, § 303 (a) (1) (B), 102 Stat. 683, 754. The commissioner appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the administrative appeal brought by the plaintiffs, Paul Valliere (Paul) and Ellen Shea, conservatrix and executrix of the estate of Marjorie Valliere (Marjorie), from the commissioner's decision to set a community spouse allowance for Paul in the amount of $0 with respect to the Medicaid benefit that paid for his wife Marjorie's long-term residential care. On appeal, the commissioner contends that, because § 45a-655 (b) and (d) must be construed in light of the federal single state agency requirement that is implemented by General Statutes § 17b-261b, the trial court improperly concluded that the community spouse allowance was controlled by a spousal support order rendered by the Probate Court prior to the application for, and award of, Medicaid benefits. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")